South AfricaSouth Africa

Few places on earth offer such an alluring variety of gorgeous scenery, historical relevance, modern cities, and world-class wildlife viewing. While words may begin to describe the thrill of seeking out game in a private reserve, or the peaceful moment at dusk as the setting sun silhouettes Table Mountain against a purple sky, nothing beats witnessing all of it firsthand!


  1. Kruger National Park Safari

    Lion family, Kruger National ParkTake a journey, beyond the familiar, on an unforgettable South African safari. Throughout the diverse landscape, Mother Nature reigns supreme. South Africa is home to more than 1,100 unique species of bird and mammal! Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, offers visitors the chance to glimpse an incredible ecosystem as well as rare or endangered animals. The reserve is home to the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes as well as cheetahs, giraffes and more.

  2. Johannesburg

    Johannesburg skylineKnown in Zulu as eGoli or “Place of Gold,” Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa (after Cairo, Egypt). The city was founded in 1886 after gold was discovered in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range. Today, with a bustling night life and exploding restaurant scene JoBurg or Jozi (as it’s known to the locals) is a fantastic place to eat and drink, shop, and explore! It’s also known as the largest man-made urban forest in the world as the city’s government has planted more than 10 million trees to date in the bustling environment. Stops you can't miss (that are featured on our tours!) include: a tour of Soweto (short for Southwestern Township), the Apartheid Museum, and Lileslie Farm, were you will experience a first-hand account of the time when Nelson Mandela lived under an alias, and the events and circumstances leading up to the raid which ultimately led to his trial and incarceration on Robben Island. 

  3. Cape Town

    Camp's Bay, Cape TownCape Town, founded in 1652, is rich with history and culture. Notably, Nelson Mandala made his first public speech following his release from prison on the balcony of Cape Town’s City Hall. Tens of thousands of visitors each year take the short ferry trip to Robben Island, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to witness the place where Mandela served 18 years behind bars. In addition to touring the small prison island, visitors to Cape Town should make a point to indulge in the city’s vibrant food scene including some of the world’s best restaurants, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for shopping and entertainment, and hike one of the city’s adjacent natural parks.

  4. Table Mountain

    Table Mountain, Cape TownOverlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain’s dramatic and towering landscape draws thousands of tourists each year. At its highest point, this geological masterpiece, one of the world’s “New Seven Wonders of Nature,” rises 3,563 feet above sea level! Amazing vantage points can be accessed via the Table Mountain Cableway. Or, for the more adventurous traveler, Table Mountain boasts the world’s highest abseil (rappel) at 367 feet! In addition to stunning views, this diverse and bountiful ecosystem features more than 2,200 species of plants—many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Many of the plants species, found only in South Africa, have delicate or fine leaves and are referred to as “fynbos” foliage, which means “fine bush” or “fine forest.”

  5. Blyde River Canyon

    Bourke's Luck Potholes, Blyde River CanyonEvery inch of Blyde River Canyon’s 16 miles offers visitors a unique and unparalleled peek at the dramatic beauty of South Africa. Blyde is the third largest canyon in the world (behind the Grand Canyon in the U.S. and Fish River Canyon in Namibia), third deepest canyon in the world, and the greenest canyon in the world! From breathtaking views of rolling mountains, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, to the diversity of life that inhabits the canyon, including some primate species only found in South Africa—this is a must-see!

  6. Cape Winelands

    Cape winelandsNestled among South Africa’s mountains is a network of sweeping green valleys perfect for vineyards! The Cape Winelands, as this region is known, offers visitors an amazing opportunity to sip unique vintages, such as Pinotage, among rows of neatly planted grapes…set against a striking backdrop! Wine production here goes back to the late 1600’s. Today, quaint farmsteads dot the valleys and historic towns like Franschoek (known as South Africa’s foodie capitol), Paarl, and Groot Drakenstein provide endless opportunities to shop, dine, and drink!

  7. South African Beaches

    African penguins, Boulders BeachBeautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches are plentiful—and popular with tourists and locals alike! South African beaches provide endless relaxing and recreation all year long. In KwaZulu Natal, known as the “Garden Province”, you can even enjoy the beaches in winter! Cape Town has many famous white-sand beaches, Sea Point and Clifton to name a few. Boulders Beach, formed of inlets between granite boulders, is home to thousands of African penguins. In Hermanus, on the Western Cape in the heart of the whale route, shore-based whale watching delights visitors between June-late October as southern right whales leave the Antarctic waters to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the southern Cape. Hermanus has been called one of the twelve best whale watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund!

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to South Africa? See everything you need to know before you go.


Capital: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
Population:  49 million 
Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
Languages:  Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Tsonga, North Sotho
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: GMT + 2

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least 90 days after your return date, though we strongly recommend at least six months. Passports must have at least two consecutive blank pages for each entry into South Africa. (You will need four if visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and seven if you add the Chobe day trip during your visit.)

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa prior to travel to enter South Africa. Tourist visas will be issued upon arrival for stays up to 90 days. Consult the South African Embassy or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

Minors (age 17 and younger) must present an original or certified copy of their birth certificate which lists both parents. If the birth certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation. Children traveling alone, with one parent, or with a third party must have written authorization and copies of the identity documents or passports from the absent parent, as well as other documents. See the information leaflet from the South African government or the U.S. State Department website for more information.

More information about passports & visas.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Consult your doctor about Malaria suppressants if you plan to visit game parks in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, or Kruger National Park. Don't swim in any lakes or rivers without checking with authorities since certain parasites exist. AIDS is also a concern in South Africa.

South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry for passengers arriving from Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and some other countries. Passengers traveling to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe should note that if they choose to visit Zambia during their stay, they may be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon return to South Africa.

Center for Disease Control 
World Health Organization


South Africa is very mild throughout the year. Spring is an ideal season for touring, (October). In the mountains, snow is a possibility June through August. November thru February is best for visiting Cape Town. For those planning on viewing animal life, winter is the best time, June through August. The grass is short and animals gather around watering holes.


Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.


South Africa is the best place to buy art from all over Africa due to the value of the rand against most currencies. Gold, diamonds and semi-precious stones are very reasonable, especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Shop for beadwork, baskets, rugs, and wood carvings.

Electricity & Power Adapters

220/230 volts. Plug M. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit before your South African vacation. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Did you know?
  • South Africa has three distinct capitals: Pretoria (administrative and executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Johannesburg is regarded as the country’s unofficial economic capital! 
  • South Africa’s flag is in the only one in the world with no emblems or insignia and six different colors! And their national anthem is the only one with five languages!
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi (later Mahatma Gandhi) once practiced law in Durban, South Africa. In 1893 he was evicted from a “whites only” train carriage, an incident that propelled his career in politics.
  • South Africans often affectionately abbreviate city names! Locally, Johannesburg is Jozi, Durban becomes Durbs, and Cape Town is warmly referred to as the Mother City.
  • On the same language lines, South African slang is particularly colorful! For example, traffic lights are called Robots and elevators are referred to as lifts. Read more about South Africa slang over on the blog!  


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Tours & Packages


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Small Group Tour A Taste of South Africa
Scenic and historic Cape Town then 4 game drives in Entabeni Safari Conservancy; optional extension to Victoria Falls
from $2499 w/ Flights 9 days
per person, double occupancy*
See package dates
Small Group Tour Best of South Africa
Johannesburg & Cape Town, 3 game drives in Kruger and a private conservancy, plus a bush walk; stay in upscale hotels throughout.
from $4099 w/ Flights 12 days
per person, double occupancy*
See package dates
Small Group Tour Best of South Africa with Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Johannesburg & Cape Town, 3 game drives in Kruger and a private conservancy, plus a bush walk; stay in upscale hotels throughout.
from $5598 w/ Flights 15 days
per person, double occupancy*
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Small Group Tour Highlights of Southern Africa
3 countries, 3 icons: Cape Town, jewel of South Africa; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with Zambezi River cruise; 4 world-class safaris in Chobe, Botswana; 1 day in Nairobi
from $3399 w/ Flights 11 days
per person, double occupancy*
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Small Group Tour Incredible South Africa with Rovos Luxury Train
Johannesburg, 4 safaris in a Private Game Reserve, 2 nights aboard Rovos Luxury Train & Cape Town. Optional extension to Victoria Falls.
from $7299 w/ Flights 12 days
per person, double occupancy*
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